Chapter 6.20
CARRYOUT BAGS

Sections:

6.20.010    DEFINITIONS.

6.20.020    REGULATIONS.

6.20.030    EXEMPTIONS.

6.20.040    VIOLATIONS.

6.20.010 DEFINITIONS.

The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of the ordinance codified in this chapter:

(a)    "Compostable" means that the product will break down into, or otherwise become part of, usable compost in a safe and timely manner in an appropriate composting facility, or in a home compost pile or device, and has been certified as compostable by the Biodegradable Products Institute or similar national or international certification authority.

(b)    "Carryout bag" means any bag that is provided by a retail establishment at the check stand, cash register, point of sale or other point of departure to a customer for use to transport or carry away purchases such as merchandise, goods or food from the retail establishment. "Carryout bags" do not include:

(1)    Bags used by consumers inside stores to package bulk items, such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy, greeting cards or small hardware items such as nails, bolts or screws; to contain or wrap frozen foods, meat or fish regardless of whether they are prepackaged; to contain or wrap flowers, potted plants or other items where dampness may be a problem; to contain unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods; or to contain prescription drugs; or

(2)    A bag used to protect a purchased item from damaging or contaminating other purchased items when placed in a recyclable paper bag or reusable bag, such as prepared take-out foods or prepared liquids intended for consumption away from the retail establishment; or

(3)    Newspaper bags, door-hanger bags, tire bags, laundry-dry cleaning bags or bags sold in packages containing multiple bags for uses such as food storage, garbage, pet waste or yard waste; or

(4)    Paper bags with a capacity of eight (8) pounds or less, that contain at least twenty (20) percent postconsumer recycled material.

(c)    "Recycled paper carryout bag" means a paper carryout bag provided by a store to a customer at the point-of-sale that meets all of the following requirements:

(1)    Has a material weight of larger than eight (8) pounds and contains an average of forty (40) percent postconsumer recycled materials;

(2)    Is accepted for recycling in curbside programs in a majority of households that have access to curbside recycling programs in the City;

(3)    Is capable of composting in a commercial composting facility; and

(4)    Is clearly labeled with the minimum percentage of postconsumer content.

(d)    "Retail establishment" means any person, corporation, partnership, business, facility, vender, organization or individual that sells or provides food, merchandise, goods, or materials, directly to a customer including home delivery, temporary stores, or vendors at farmers markets, street fairs, and festivals.

(e)    "Reusable carryout bag" means a bag made of cloth or other material with handles that is specifically designed and manufactured for long-term multiple reuse and meets all of the following requirements:

(1)    Has a minimum lifetime of one hundred twenty-five (125) uses, which for purposes of this subsection, means the capacity of carrying a minimum of twenty-two (22) pounds one hundred twenty-five (125) times over a distance of at least one hundred seventy-five (175) feet;

(2)    Is machine washable or made from a material that can be cleaned or disinfected; and

(3)    If made of film plastic, is a minimum of at least two and one-quarter (2.25) mils thick.

(f)    "Single-use plastic carryout bag" means any bag that is less than two and one-quarter (2.25) mils thick and is made from plastic or any nonrenewable resource.

(g)    "Pass-through charge" means a charge collected by retailers from their customers when providing plastic or recycled paper carryout bags, and retained by retailers to offset the cost of bags and other costs related to the pass-through charge. (Ord. 5368 §2 (part), 2019)

6.20.020 REGULATIONS.

Except as provided by BMC 6.20.030, all retail establishments within the City must comply with the following regulations:

(a)    Plastic Carryout Bags.

(1)    Single-Use Plastic Carryout Bags. Retail establishments shall not provide a single-use plastic carryout bag to any customer.

(2)    Reusable Plastic Carryout Bags. Retail establishments may provide to any customer at the point-of-sale a reusable plastic carryout bag as defined in BMC 6.20.010(e)(3). For each reusable plastic carryout bag provided by the retail establishment, it shall collect a pass-through charge of not less than eight cents ($0.08) and such shall be clearly indicated on the customer transaction receipt.

(b)    Paper Carryout Bags. Retail establishments shall not provide to any customer at the point-of-sale a paper bag that is not a recycled paper carryout bag as defined in BMC 6.20.010(c). For each recycled paper carryout bag provided by the retail establishment, it shall collect a pass-through charge of not less than eight cents ($0.08) and such shall be clearly indicated on the customer transaction receipt.

(c)    Reusable Carryout Bags. Retail establishments may make reusable carryout bags available to customers through sale.

(d)    Noncarryout Bags.

(1)    Noncompostable Plastic Bags. Retail establishments shall not use or provide to any customer polyethylene or other noncompostable plastic film bags tinted green or brown for customers to bag products in stores.

(2)    Compostable Plastic Bags. Any film bags meeting the definition of compostable that retail establishments provide to customers for food or other products, such as vegetables bagged in stores prior to checkout, must be tinted green or brown and shall be clearly labeled "COMPOSTABLE," including language following the Federal Trade Commission’s "Green Guides." (Ord. 5368 §2 (part), 2019)

6.20.030 EXEMPTIONS.

No retail establishment may collect a pass-through charge from anyone with a voucher or electronic benefits card issued under programs including, but not limited to, Women Infants and Children (WIC); Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF); Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as Basic Food; and the Washington State Food Assistance Program (FAP). (Ord. 5368 §2 (part), 2019)

6.20.040 VIOLATIONS.

In addition to any other violation set forth in this chapter, any violation of BMC 6.20.020 constitutes a civil violation under Chapter 1.04 BMC for which a monetary penalty may be assessed and enforcement may be required as provided therein. (Ord. 5368 §2 (part), 2019)